Since high school I had always wanted to write, but I lacked settled themes. With my discovery of Italian-American literature, which has flourished recently, I found a niche. My writing took on a clearer direction, a firmer purpose, and a greater committment to the subject matter. I had learned for myself what, as a teacher of English composition, I had always told my students: Write about the things you know about.
If these pieces, two plays, two reminisences, and a 'scherzo', have any merit, it lies in their concern with the Italian-American experience. I claim nothing else for them. I hope you enjoy them.
Table Leaves is a play derived from a prose piece read before an Italian-American organization. The title of the reading, "With All Table Leaves Inserted: An Extended Family at Dinner", gives the idea of the Italian-American content and dynamic of the play. Michael, the main character, invites a school friend home for Sunday dinner, where a full complement of parents, aunts, and uncles are in attendance. The food, conversation, and interactions among the characters are dramatized, while the friendship between Michael and his friend blossoms.
Father and Son is a memoir of the author's relationship with his father projected in episodes over an extented period of time. The reminisences ultimately constitute a posthumous tribute to the father. In the fifth episode the author mentions a favorite uncle. Saint Joe explains how that special relationship came about.
Angel Shoes is a full-length play set in Rochester, NY during the 1950s. It follows the lives of three Italian-Americans in the course of one night. The play encompasses the sacred and profane. Here the profane comprises explicit language and sexual content.
Tommy Stello is a prose piece about the Army and the Mafia set in the framework of a friendship. It is mainly a scherzo but with many passages and a conclusion in earnest.
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